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Ravi Shankar, Sitar Virtuoso, Dies At 92

Aired 12/18/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.


George Varga, pop music critic, U-T San Diego.


Jim Wells/AP

Musician Ravi Shankar performs at the Concert For Bangladesh benefit at Madison Square Garden in New York on Aug. 1, 1971. Shankar died Tuesday. He was 92.

Indian music legend and sitar virtuoso, Ravi Shankar, died Tuesday night at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. He was 92.

A resident of Encinitas since 1992, Shankar was responsible for making Indian classical music popular in the West, collaborating with artists as diverse as the Beatles and Yehudi Menuhin. Former Beatle George Harrison, a friend and protégé of Shankar's, hailed him as “the godfather of world music.”

Six days prior to his death, Shankar received a Grammy Award nomination for Best World Music Album, a category in which his daughter, sitar player Anoushka, 31, is also nominated.

U-T San Diego pop music critic George Varga writes, "Shankar was the only Indian musician to perform at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, Woodstock in 1969 and at the all-star Concert for Bangladesh benefit concert in 1971. He recorded myriad albums, won three Grammy Awards and earned an Academy Award nomination in 1982 for the score he and George Fenton wrote for the film 'Ghandi'." (Read the complete obituary.)

He's survived by his wife, Sukanya, and his daughters, Anushka Shankar and singer Norah Jones, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Ravi Shankar On Working With The Beatles

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